HearthStats, the popular in-game stat tracker program, will launch one of the most ambitious Hearthstone competitions seen to a date: a four tier, twice-yearly league season open to all comers.
The league follows on the heels of HearthStats League invitational last September, and features a prize pool of at least $5,000.
The league is structured in a similar way to many European soccer leagues, though esports fans may notice similarities with the LCS in League of Legends. Players finishing near the top of a division are rewarded with a place in a higher division, while those finishing at the bottom have to fight their way back through a lower league.
“This is a huge step for HearthStats as a company, and we want to keep this league going for many more seasons,” HearthStats founder Jeffrey Tong told the Daily Dot.
The first Challenger League will run Jan. 19-24, with 40 players competing across 10 groups. The eight top finishers will qualify for the top division Champions League, with four others having to go through a second chance tournament known as the Placement League.
The lowest division is called the Grinders League, with 288 open places and 36 open spots for promotion to the Challenger League. There will be two seasons a year, giving players around the world a new opportunity to compete with top Hearthstone pros.
In the first Challenger League, players will battle it out for the right to join the top four finishers from September’s invitational: Jason “Amaz” Chan, James “Firebat” Kostesich, Peter “Gaara” Stevanovic and eventual winner Jan “ek0p” Palys.
The first Champions League will take place in late February with a prize pool of at least $5000 and will be streamed in full.
Disclosure: The author of this article will be volunteering as a caster for this event.